World's most famous cruise liner will make final voyage to Dubai next year

The QE2 has been bought from Cunard for £50million by Dubai World, a company that makes investments on behalf of the country’s government. The firm will take delivery of the ship in November next year at a specially-constructed pier at the Palm Jumeirah luxury development on the coast of Dubai. Dubai World will then refurbish the ship, aiming to recreate her original decor and fittings.

Since her maiden voyage in 1969, the Queen, many other members of the royal family, the Emperor of Japan, and U.S. presidents George Bush and Jimmy Carter have sailed on her. Film stars such as Douglas Fairbanks Junior, Ginger Rogers, Debbie Reynolds and John Travolta have also been guests, as have Rod Stewart, Elton John, Mick Jagger, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

The QE2, which was built at the John Brown shipyard in the Clyde in Scotland, is the longest serving ship in Cunard’s 168-year history. Yet despite her age, the 70,000-ton ship is still the fastest liner in operation, capable of 34 knots. She cost £29million to build, but since then Cunard has spent more than fifteen times that on improvements. The QE2 was Cunard’s flagship until the 150,000-ton Queen Mary 2 replaced her in 2004.